Yesterday I popped over to my local yarn store, Natural Stitches. I was picking up some gifts and it was the logical place to go. Plus I like it there.
In the past - heck, even now - I feel rather surly about a certain type of store. You know, the ones that act like they're doing you a favor to take your money and sell you things? Yeah. And in my experience, most yarn stores are like that. I've actually been told to not touch the yarn before. No joke. So, well, let's just say that I feel no obligation to shop locally and no guilt about spending my money over the internet (on yarn or anything else, for that matter).
Natural Stitches? They do it right. They know that these days, to compete with on-line retailers, they have to offer a COMMUNITY. And they do.
I get in there every six weeks at most. I'm not a frequent customer; I just have too much yarn to knit up already to be in there shopping regularly. As often as not, people greet me or my kid by name. They say hi. They ask if I need help and sound like they actually care about the answer. They CHAT, and are actually fun to hang out with. They do classes and knit-nights and spinning night (need to get there for that) and all that good stuff. Plus the selection is amazing. They've got an amazing variety of yarns and even spinning fibers crammed into an average-sized store.
You know how in movies and on TV, a miracle happens and this beam of sun shines down and a choir of angels goes "aaaaaaaaaah!" in some octave-with-an-open-fifth sort of chord? I feel much the same way every time I visit when I see this:
Every color of Cascade 220 available on the market. In one handy spot.
So, if you're ever in Pittsburgh, let me know. We'll go fondle some yarn.
To get to Natural Stitches from where we live, you drive through one of the older neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, including the house that is now The Frick, bought around 1881 (can't find info on when it was built) by Henry Clay Frick, industrialist robber baron scumbag. Many of the houses in the area are of about the same age, and there's a fire station from the same era that's really neat, all along that street. About five blocks up is a similar house, four or five stories, brick, really wonderfully preserved and cared for, still a private residence as far as I can tell.
Every time I drive past, I think whoever painted it red should be drawn and quartered.
Not much else going on. Trying to do a quick spin as a gift, but since BOTH hands are killing me due to the weather, I'm not doing much of anything quickly right now. Still knitting on the Zauberball Shrug Thingie.
Looks like we get into the house - OUR house! - July 6. Then it's officially ours. All our stuff from South Carolina is scheduled to be delivered July 15. After that I don't think the husbeast or I will do much of anything but wallow for the rest of the summer. I intend to lay on the couch for at least a month. The Goober can run around the yard if she likes. I don't intend to even start the gardening (digging beds and other lunacy) until the weather cools off in late fall. So, about one month left of Hell Year.
None too soon.